Variety Entertainment Summit: A Look into the Global Innovation and Tech Landscape

variety event
Key takeaways from the latest Variety Entertainment Summit, where André Kudelski, Chairman & CEO of the Kudelski Group, was a featured speaker during two popular sessions

As we welcome 2021 with open arms and leave 2020 behind us, we all felt a bit of a void not welcoming the new year with our annual trip to Vegas for CES. Fortunately, despite its virtual presence, this year’s event did not disappoint. In fact, it was an impressive feat with attendees and participants alike, absorbing the innovation, knowledge and trends that will shape the technology world in the coming years from the comfort – and safety – of their homes.

One of the key highlights was the 2021 Variety Entertainment Summit: A CES Partner Program, where André Kudelski, Chairman & CEO of the Kudelski Group, was a featured speaker during two popular sessions. The first was a one-on-one interview with Variety NY Digital Editor, Todd Spangler titled, “Key Technology and Innovation Trends”. He then joined the “Tech Heroes of the Pandemic” panel moderated by Variety Artisans Editor, Jazz Tangcay.

In line with the current events of the world, both sessions explored how the M&E market, as well as communities, businesses and individuals everywhere, have been fundamentally transformed by the COVID crisis. Attendees gained a unique perspective on Mr. Kudelski’s knowledge and holistic vision of the global innovation and technology landscape. If you were not able to attend the virtual event, here are the key takeaways:  

Tech Trends to Watch in 2021:

According to Mr. Kudelski, the main technology and innovation trends to look out for in 2021 include cloudification, telecommunications and security. Variety’s Hanna Hensler’s recent article, Kudelski Group CEO André Kudelski on the Top Technology Trends to Look Out for in 2021, includes important takeaways, as well as access to the one-on-one interview that took place during the event.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancements also ranked high on the list of trends to watch. This includes AI as it applies to helping people adapt faster in their current environments.  AI should not be looked at as a standalone technology, but rather a way to enhance the way people work and react faster and better to get things done.

Taking a closer look at security threats, the need for content protection is on the rise because pirates are taking advantage of the disruption in the world combined with an increased demand for content from consumers. This is not isolated to media content; the same trend applies to consumer data.  Taking the correct steps with the right technologies can help address this issue. Moving forward we will see that the need to protect data and content will be more important than ever before.

Acceleration of Digitalization:  A Fundamental Change in How We Move Forward

For years, businesses have been looking for ways to accelerate digitalization. However, massive strides were not made until a number of actors, companies, individuals and societies were essentially forced to make the leap to digital. Until now, there was never a strong enough reason to stop, disrupt business, and restructure the way we do business. This global crisis forced people out of their comfort zone to take the necessary, calculated risks to keep business going while implementing new and innovative ways to work.

The only way to survive in such a disruptive time is to adapt, to adapt quickly and to change the engrained behavior that has been embraced for decades. Fortunately, many have found innovative ways – fairly quickly – to adapt. This is the key in today’s digitation acceleration, with initiatives that took years are now taking months. It is a radical shift.

Optimizing Collaboration - Making Connections in a Digitized World

Not a single company or even a single government can do everything by themselves. This is why collaboration is so important. With the current landscape, it is more challenging to collaborate effectively as face-to-face meetings are limited. Tech innovations are trying to fill the void, but there are a number of important meetings that are simply not effective in a remote environment. Face-to-face interaction is essential. Moving forward, there must be investments in ways to make true collaboration possible with a balanced approach that includes the right technologies, combined with in-person experiences when necessary.

Activating Immersive Entertainment Experiences

In the M&E world, there is a chemistry when people come together. This not only applies to the professional side of business, with innovations such as remote working and remote production, but also in the relationships between people when you deliver an ultimate entertainment experience. Unfortunately, this chemistry has been limited with the pandemic. Now, there is a real opportunity to interconnect fans and viewers to enjoy something together by using technology to reproduce a sense of community.  Once pandemic is over, this will morph into a hybrid solution between the two – both in-person and digital experiences.  Consuming content for entertainment purposes will no longer be a passive experience.

What’s Next:

If there is one thing we have realized over the past year, it is that we are not able to choose the downside of a crisis. However, it’s important to note that in every crisis there can be immense opportunity and when reach the bottom, there is only one way to go and that is up. By taking a look at the current tech and media landscape, we can see that there is so much opportunity to be had when digital transformation technologies and people are in sync and the desire to evolve is embraced.


Contact us to learn how NAGRA can help M&E companies innovate in today's digitized world.